Major relief to people in the shape of reduction in oil prices and also in load-shedding….

While we are keen to criticize Zardari and PPP on what we consider their failings, we must also appreciate any positive steps taken by the government.

POL prices substantially reduced in Pakistan.

Sunday, November 16, 2008 (The News)
Petrol price cut by Rs10, diesel by Rs 7; kerosene to cost Rs 5 less

By Khalid Mustafa

ISLAMABAD: In a major relief to the people, the government on Saturday reduced petrol price by Rs10 per litre, light diesel oil (LDO) by Rs7 and kerosene oil by Rs5 per litre with immediate effect for the next fortnight.

The regime also decreased the price of High Octane Blending Component (HOBC) by Rs15 per litre.

This is the second relief provided to the people in a row as earlier the government had reduced the POL prices on November 1, 2008.

Under the new POL prices build up, petrol (motor spirit) would be valued at Rs66.66 per litre which was earlier reduced to Rs76.66. Similarly, prices of high speed diesel would stand at Rs56.87 and kerosene oil at Rs53 per litre.

The new price of HOBC would stand at Rs81.08 and LDO at Rs53 per litre.

The government on November 1, reduced the petrol price by Rs5 per litre and LDO by Rs4 per litre.

The reduction in POL prices will help reduce inflation in the country for which the Sate Bank of Pakistan has also increased the discount rate to 15 per cent.

Inflation which is hovering around 25 per cent will tumble in the days to come with sizeable reduction in POL prices, particularly decrease in LDO by Rs7 per litre and Rs10 per litre in petrol price in two fortnights in a row.

The reduction in LDO price would give comfort to the masses and it would now lead to big relief in kitchen items and food prices as transportation costs would come down.

The price of kerosene oil will provide relief in real terms to those poor people who live in remote areas of the country where natural gas and LPG facilities are not available.

The fast dwindling of prices of POL and food commodities in the international market will not only help massively reduce inflation in the country, but also give oxygen to the ailing economy of Pakistan.

However, according to economic experts, inflation would be negative in most of the world except Pakistan in the new scenario.

In the case of Pakistan, inflation would reduce substantially due to the decrease in oil and food prices in world markets but would not go negative because of the massive increase in procurement prices of wheat by the government as wheat has a substantial share in the CPI (consumer price index) basket.


Load shedding ends in cities

* Ashraf says improved water level in rivers has increased power generation
* PEPCO DG says shortage down to 1,000MW electricity

ISLAMABAD: Load shedding across the country has been ended from November 1, Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervez Ashraf Saturday said on Saturday.

Talking to the Pakistan Television (PTV), he said, “Water level has improved in the country’s rivers and presently there is no load shedding across the country.”

He said the government was trying to maintain the present situation, adding that the ministry was also monitoring the uninterrupted power supply across the country.

Ashraf said, “I am also monitoring the supply of power on (an) hourly basis,” adding that from December 20 to January 20 every year, there would be a canal closure for desilting, which would disrupt the regular hydropower production. However, he said, during this period the government will focus on thermal generation to meet the power shortage.

Power shortage: However, Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) Director General Tahir Basharat Cheema told a private TV channel that there was still a shortage of 1,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity in the country, which would be handled by the load management programme.

Earlier, there was shortage of about 5,000MW of electricity. To address the issue, Ashraf had constituted a Power System Operation Committee.

Now, with sufficient gas supply to power generating units, increased level of water in reservoirs and re-functioning of the units closed for annual maintenance work have enabled PEPCO to end load shedding from the city areas, he added.

Earlier, the federal minister for water and power had said that 1,500 MW additional power had been added to the national grid and due to this load shedding in the industrial and agricultural sectors had been ended.

Ashraf said that the government was fully determined to eliminate the menace of load shedding by December 2009 by adopting rational policies and setting up new power plants to minimise the miseries of the people. He said infrastructure was being developed for importing the 1,000MW from Iran.

The minister said that the government stressed the need for investment to meet the growing demand of the economy, and urged the private sector to come forward to support the government by investing in the sector. app (Daily Times, 2 Nov 2008)



(By Abdul Qadir Hassan)

(By Asadullah Ghalib)

Also, read the following columns:

“Khopay” by Babar Awan


“Disinformation Cell Part 2” by Asadullah Ghalib